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New IoF Code is more than just compliance

Code of Fundraising Practice - from IoF banner. Photo: Howard Lake
Photo: Howard Lake

This month, the IoF launched its new consolidated Code of Fundraising Practice. It might be tempting to think that this is just more regulation, designed to make life more difficult for struggling fundraisers – but far from it.

The new single code pulls together the key elements of the previous range of codes into one shorter and simplified form, based on the four central principles that fundraising should be legal, open, honest and respectful. This is something any decent fundraiser can sign up to.

Guidance

There are two key points here. First, the Code provides helpful guidance on a wide range of issues, from raising funds from major donors, to using the telephone, running events and even to working with children. It is nothing if not topical. When read in conjunction with the more comprehensive guidance notes on the IoF website, it provides a handy checklist of what is a legal requirement and what is seen as good practice in each area.

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Relevant to the whole organisation

Secondly, the Code is relevant to the whole organisation that is raising funds, not just to the fundraising department. It spells out obligations which affect trustees, senior management and the finance department. Ignore it at your peril.

For charities that are members of the Fundraising Standards Board, adherence to the whole Code is mandatory, not just those parts which are legal obligations.

The really key point about the Code is that, if properly implemented, it will engender greater trust among donors, which we know is a vital aspect of the relationship between them and their chosen causes. By being aware of it and practising its four principles, you can use it to build trust and enhance donor relationships, demonstrating your organisation’s integrity and worthiness to receive support. This can only strengthen your fundraising case at a time when some donors are making hard choices about which causes to support and which to drop.

If you have not yet read the Code, take a look here:  http://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/./guidance/code-of-fundraising-practice/ You may be surprised at what you find.

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